Essentialists like J. Baird Callicott have argued that one cannot have an environmental ethic unless one adopts the nonanthropocentric principle, which holds that things other than humans can be morally considerable in their own right, typically because they are thought to be intrinsically valuable. Pragmatists like Bryan Norton reject this; they claim that environmental ethics has no core or essence, and hence that the nonanthropocentric principle is not essential to an environmental ethic. Norton advances as an alternative the Convergence Hypothesis, (...) which says that there are many different ways of justifying environmental principles and policies. In this paper I show that pragmatists and essentialists are arguing past one another because they fail to note two crucial points. First, they often propose different accounts of which principles constitute an environmental ethic and so they disagree about which principles must be justified. The nonanthropocentric principle may be required to justify the principles that Callicott believe to be constitutive of an environmental ethic, but it may be unnecessary to justify those principles that pragmatists think are constitutive. Second, essentialists and pragmatists often overlook the distinction to be made between the adequacy of a justification and its epistemic or rhetorical preferability. The nonanthropocentric principle may not be needed to provide an adequate justification of the constitutive principles and judgements, but a justification that contains the nonanthropocentric principle might nevertheless be epistemically preferable. (shrink)
Why does the paradox play such a crucial role in Kierkegaard's notion of truth as subjectivity? Richard Schacht explains it as follows: Eternal happiness is possible for a man only if it is possible for him to relate himself to God. A man, however, is a being who exists in time; and it would not be possible for such a being to enter into a ‘God-relationship’ if God had not also at some point existed in time. Through the ‘leap of (...) faith’ in which one affirms the proposition that God did exist in time, one is able to enter a ‘God-relationship’ and thereby attains ‘an eternal happiness’. (shrink)
In The Existence of God Richard Swinburne argues that ‘if there is a God, any experience which seems to be of God, will be genuine – will be of God.’ On the face of it this claim of the essential veridicality of any religious experience, given the existence of God, is incredible. Consider what is being claimed by looking at a particularly dramatic example – but one that is well within the purview of Swinburne's claim. The ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ who murdered (...) at least thirteen women, claimed to hear voices telling him to kill. He took these voices to be divine. While it is easy enough to suspect the killer's sanity, it is not so easy to doubt his sincerity. Yet since Swinburne claims that God probably exists, he is committed to the view that the Ripper had a series of genuine religious experiences – so much for the arduous preparations sometime taken as necessary for a ‘vision’ of God. (shrink)
Introduction: education, philosophy and politics -- Writing the self: Wittgenstein, confession and pedagogy -- Nietzsche, nihilism and the critique of modernity: post-Nietzschean philosophy of education -- Heidegger, education and modernity -- Truth-telling as an educational practice of the self: Foucault and the ethics of subjectivity -- Neoliberal governmentality: Foucault on the birth of biopolitics -- Lyotard, nihilism and education -- Gilles Deleuze's 'societies of control': from disciplinary pedagogy to perpetual training -- Geophilosophy, education and the pedagogy of the concept - (...) Humanism, Derrida and the new humanities -- Politics and deconstruction: Derrida, neoliberalism and democracy -- Neopragmatism, ethnocentrism and the politics of the ethnos: Rorty's 'postmodernist bourgeois liberalism' -- Achieving America: postmodernism and Rorty's critique of the cultural left -- Deranging the investigations: Cavell on the philosophy of the child -- White philosophy in/of America. (shrink)
Back in the bad old days, it was easy enough to spot non-cognitivists. They pressed radical doctrines with considerable bravado. Intoxicated by the apparent implications of logical positivism, early noncognitivsts would say things like, "in saying that a certain type of action is right or wrong, I am not making any factual statement..." (Ayer 1936: 107) Like most rebellious youths, non-cognitivism eventually grew up. Later non-cognitivists developed the position into a more subtle doctrine, no longer committed to the revisionary doctrines (...) associated with its forefathers. For example, Simon Blackburn has undertaken the "quasi-realist" project of showing how a non-cognitivist can "earn" the right to the seemingly realist discourse on a less metaphysically controversial and semantically implausible basis by giving a non-cognitivist analysis of realist-sounding semantics and pragmatics (Blackburn 1993). (shrink)
At the turn of the 21st century, Susan Leigh Anderson and Michael Anderson conceived and introduced the Machine Ethics research program, that aimed to highlight the requirements under which autonomous artificial intelligence systems could demonstrate ethical behavior guided by moral values, and at the same time to show that these values, as well as ethics in general, can be representable and computable. Today, the interaction between humans and AI entities is already part of our everyday lives; in the near (...) future it is expected to play a key role in scientific research, medical practice, public administration, education and other fields of civic life. In view of this, the debate over the ethical behavior of machines is more crucial than ever and the search for answers, directions and regulations is imperative at an academic, institutional as well as at a technical level. Our discussion with the two inspirers and originators of Machine Ethics highlights the epistemological, metaphysical and ethical questions arising by this project, as well as the realistic and pragmatic demands that dominate artificial intelligence and robotics research programs. Most of all, however, it sheds light upon the contribution of Susan and Michael Anderson regarding the introduction and undertaking of a main objective related to the creation of ethical autonomous agents, that will not be based on the “imperfect” patterns of human behavior, or on preloaded hierarchical laws and human-centric values. (shrink)
Discussions of immortality have tended to focus on the nature of personal identity and, in a related way, the mind/body problem. Who is that is going to survive, and is it possible to survive bodily destruction? There has been far less discussion of what immortality would be like; e.g. the nature of heaven. Richard Swinburne, however, has recently discussed ‘heaven’, and has constructed a novel theodicy fundamentally based on his conception of what heaven is like. I shall criticize both his (...) conception of heaven – a conception he claims is consonant with the classical theistic one of Aquinas – and also his theodicy. I will argue that his theodicy reintroduces the problem of evil in connection with his idea of heaven – and does nothing to resolve it. (shrink)
Of all topics within the psychology of education, learning is one of the most crucial. Yet in terms of practical texts likely to be of use to teachers, it is one of the most neglected. This book is a short, down-to-earth account of learning by children of the kinds of knowledge and skills they acquire at school. Though it does not aim to show teachers how to teach, it gives a highly practical account of learning, remembering and related processes. Some (...) recent developments in mainstream psychology promise to be of enormous potential benefit for classroom work: increasing attention is given to the ways in which people use their knowledge and skills to acquire new information. Psychologists have come to grips with practical questions about the determinants of effective remembering and we are now much better informed about what children need to do in order to learn. This book is the first to present this material in a form suitable for those training and working as teachers. (shrink)
Philosopher Michael Boylan and theologian James A. Donahue provide a framework_compatible with humanist and theist beliefs_that will enable college and university professors to address a full range of ethical issues as they arise in classroom discussion, both in the academic disciplines and in professional education.
When a young child begins to engage in everyday interaction, she has to acquire competencies that allow her to be oriented to the conventions that inform talk-in-interaction and, at the same time, deal with emotional or affective dimensions of experience. The theoretical positions associated with these domains - social-action and emotion - provide very different accounts of human development and this book examines why this is the case. Through a longitudinal video-recorded study of one child learning how to talk, (...) class='Hi'>Michael A. Forrester develops proposals that rest upon a comparison of two perspectives on everyday parent-child interaction taken from the same data corpus - one informed by conversation analysis and ethnomethodology, the other by psychoanalytic developmental psychology. Ultimately, what is significant for attaining membership within any culture is gradually being able to display an orientation towards both domains - doing and feeling, or social-action and affect. (shrink)
Thirty years ago, I elaborated on a position that could be seen as a compromise between an "extreme," symbol-based AI, and a "neurochemical reductionism" in AI. The present article recalls aspects of the espoused framework of schema theory that, it suggested, could provide a better bridge from human psychology to brain theory than that offered by the symbol systems of A. Newell and H. A. Simon.
Are you familiar with Michael Sandel’s work?Yes I am. In the nineties I read several books on communitarianism, including Michael Sandel’s Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy.What do you think of communitarianism?I discussed communitarianism in my books Five Essays from 1999 and, especially, Historical Ontology more than ten years ago. My thoughts have not changed since then. Simply put, I think communitarianism is the product of developed countries with long traditions of liberalism. It has referential (...) value, but if directly or indiscriminately adopted in other societies it can be quite dangerous.In recent years Sandel has become very... (shrink)
Democracy’s Trade-Off You are so stupid, I wouldn’t even trust you to watch my cat for five minutes. But I would fight for your right to vote. We all know people whom we deem unqualified to reason coherently and still we do not question universal suffrage. In Knowing Democracy – A Pragmatist Account of the Epistemic Dimension in Democratic Politics, Michael Räber demonstrates that this contradiction is the center of the epistemic argument for democracy. Of course, he has a (...) mor... (shrink)
Kierkegaard’s belief that Socrates embodied a prefigurement of Christian neighbor love militates against the claim that Kierkegaard believed there was absolutely no intimation of the obligation to love the neighbor in paganism. Kierkegaard also accepted that any awareness of the obligation to love the neighbor must be divinely originated. These beliefs and Kierkegaard’s other claims regarding the daimonion and Socrates’s “becoming a Christian” support the view that Kierkegaard believed Socrates to have been a recipient of special divine revelation. The plausibility (...) of this conclusion and its consistency with Kierkegaard’s apostle/genius distinction is explored. Finally, speculative reasons are given as to why God might have chosen to give Socrates the daimonion. (shrink)
This is a description of an avian-shaped feature that rests below a network of cellular structures found on a mound within the Argyre Basin of Mars in Mars Global Surveyor image M14-02185, acquired on April 30, 2000, and released to the public on April 4, 2001. The area examined is located near 48.0° South, 55.1° West. The formation is approximately 2,400 meters long from the tip of its beak to the tip of its farthest tail feather. There is a minimum (...) of six different variations in appearance of the surface material over this small area. Utilizing the public targeting request form provided on the Mars Global Surveyor website, co-author Miller secured a second image of the area that was obtained on July 3, 2006, showing this feature under different conditions S20-00165. The new image was then released to the public on August 11, 2006. A third image of the formation identified as MGS S13-01480 was acquired on December 15, 2005, and although officially processed on June 20, 2006, it was not made available to the public until August 22, 2009, on NASA’s Planetary Data System website. All three of the MGS images reveal defining aspects of this avian feature, including a head, beak, body, eye, leg, foot, toes, wing, and feathers. When taken together, these components induce the visual impression of an avian-shaped formation that exhibits a unique set of proportional features. Adjoining this formation is a composite of complex cellular features that form a compartmentalized infrastructure. The three authors who are veterinarians provide a critical analysis of the avian features, and the geologist and geoscientist authors examine natural mechanisms that could contribute to the formation of this feature. An extensive search of comparable regions within and beyond the area of the Argyre Basin was conducted. A list of these sites is provided, and terrestrial comparisons are also offered. (shrink)